Oxford City Council has announced plans to put CCTV in every licenced taxicab in the city. This CCTV system would also have sound recording capabilities, to record the conversations of the passengers. The Oxford Mail has written an article where two writers debate the issue. See: http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/archive/2011/11/17/Oxford+news+%28om_oxfordnews%29/9369819.Should_conversations_in_taxis_ever_be_recorded_/ You can guess what my views are on this subject! In fact I've put a comment in the box. I'm "Free Oxford". Here's my comment:
I've heard the arguments in favour of sound recording in taxies, and there are undeniable advantages of course... but isn't there always? Whenever the Government want to introduce some Big Brother policy they can't possibly come to us and say: "We want to erode your civil liberties because we don't want you to be free; we want to be able to control every aspect of your life." No, they have to put some bait on the hook! To sweeten the pill, hand us our shackles in pretty wrapping paper, so that we accept, and even champion, this War on Human Freedom. We are ragaled with optimistic stories lauded about the advantages of tagging prisoners, inserting microchips into the arms of asylum-seekers or taking our children's fingerprints at school (This happened to my daughter!) Look up "problem-reaction-solution" and you'll see what I mean. We're heading for a Big Brother State, tip-toeing, a tiny bit at a time. Individual policies like CCTV in taxies may seem harmless on its own, even beneficial, but look at the bigger pricture. If we're not careful, in a few years we'll be living in a world like Orwell's "1984" and we'll look back and wonder: "How on earth did this happen!?"